Report on the death penalty in Belarus presented at Council of Europe

A delegation of human rights defenders representing the Human Rights Center "Viasna" and FIDH visited yesterday the Council of Europe to discuss the question of the death penalty and the overall situation of human rights in Belarus.

Following their visit to Brussels, Valiantsin Stefanovich of Viasna, Andrei Paluda, coordinator of the campaign Human Rights Defenders Against the Death Penalty in Belarus, and Liubou Kavaliova, mother of Uladzislau Kavaliou, who was executed in 2012, met in Strasbourg with representatives of the CoE’s governing and advisory bodies, as well as the secretariat of the Council of Europe.

During the day, they held discussions on the situation in Belarus with Ms. Tatiana Termacic, head of the Human Rights National Implementation Unit of the Council of Europe's Directorate General of Human Rights, Mr. Alexandre Guessel, Head of the Directorate of Political Advice, and Ms. Bojana Urumova, Deputy to the Director at the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights. There was also a meeting with the ambassadors of the European states at the Council of Europe: Ms. Laima Jurevičienė (Lithuania), Chairperson of the Rapporteur Group on Democracy of the CoE’s Committee of Ministers (the tasks of this group include relations with Belarus), and Mr. Guido Bellatti Ceccoli (San Marino), Chairperson of the Rapporteur Group on Human Rights.

Speaking about the systemic problems related to the observance of human rights in Belarus, the human rights activists paid special attention to the issue of the death penalty, which is known as the stumbling block in the country’s relations with the Council of Europe. In order to brief the international experts on the latest information on the issue, they presented a joint report by the FIDH and the Human Rights Center "Viasna", "Death Penalty in Belarus: Murder on (Un)lawful Grounds".

“Belarus is the only country in Europe that has not acceded to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its protocols, even though it is a party to 13 other COE instruments (in the spheres of culture, education, law, combatting corruption and human trafficking, sports). The European Convention on Human Rights is the only instrument that attempts to compile an exhaustive list of exceptions regarding the right to life and the only instrument that discusses the death penalty in a separate article,” emphasizes the report.

Book «Capital punishment in Belarus»


Death verdics in Belarus since 1990